Amadeus was born in 1435, when France and the Holy Roman Empire were fighting over Savoy. The French king procured a betrothal between the Savoyan heir and the French princess, Yolande Valois.
The couple married when they were both sixteen. They had ten children, many of whom died while still young.
Amadeus himself suffered from epilepsy. As time passed, his seizures grew increasingly severe. In 1471, he resigned the dukedom into Yolande’s capable hands.
Before long, however, the Savoy people grew discontented and revolted against Amadeus and Yolande. They imprisoned Amadeus, and it was only by the intervention of Yolande’s brother—Louis XI—that he was freed and restored to the dukedom.
Soon after his release and restoration, Amadeus passed away.
Those are the cold, hard facts. To an onlooker, they are certainly depressing.
And yet, Amadeus was happy—so happy that everybody saw it and knew him for it. Why was Amadeus happy?
Amadeus was devoted to his Catholic faith. He loved the poor especially and practiced great charity among them.
Once, listening to an ambassador boasting about the number of hunting dogs belonging to his king, Amadeus pointed to a large group of the poor, seated on Amadeus’s terrace eating a meal provided by Amadeus’s cooks.
“These,” he said, “are the hounds with which I hunt heaven.”
He was beatified in 1677.
Amadeus had lots of good reasons to be sorry and miserable and discouraged. Instead, he chose to be joyful in the light of his faith. Choose joy as Amadeus did. Choose it first thing in the morning as you drink your coffee in our Choose Joy Personalized Mug. Capacious, sturdy, and inspiring, this mug will give you a serving of grace along with your drink. Available today at The Catholic Company!